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Surreal installation turns architecture into art

This week saw British artist Alex Chinneck complete his first permanent piece of art on the side of a new London office development. Titled 'Six pins and half a dozen needles', the monumental installation is made of 4,000 10-tonne bricks that look as though they're being ripped apart.

Positioned on an office in Hammersmith, London, 'Six pins and half a dozen needles' has been designed to fit into the building's existing brickwork. It's the latest in Chinneck's body of surreal work, with previous pieces including an upside-down pylon, brick work that appears to curve into the ground like a piece of paper, and a disused building with identical smashed windows.

In a statement, Chinneck explained that the work was conceived to engage people in a fun and uplifting way. ”Although we use real brick, it was designed with a cartoon-like quality to give the sculpture an endearing artifice and playful personality,” he said.

The rip that tears through the building was designed to look like a page being ripped from a book. To get the right look, Chinneck spent months scanning in torn sheets of paper to create the design digitally.

Over the next 14 months, Chinneck worked with engineers, steelworkers and brick-makers to turn the concept into a 12-metre high reality. Explore 'Six pins and half a dozen needles' by clicking left to right in the gallery below, or see it for real by visiting 77 Fulham Palace Road, London.

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1,000 stainless steel components hold the piece together

1,000 stainless steel components hold the piece together
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The sculpture references the area's publishing history

The sculpture references the area's publishing history
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The bricks were individually cut into shape

The bricks were individually cut into shape
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Putting the sculpture in place took 18 hours

Putting the sculpture in place took 18 hours
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The artwork's name refers to the way tears are stitched up

The artwork's name refers to the way tears are stitched up
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Six pins and half a dozen needles is the latest work in Chinneck's surreal career

Six pins and half a dozen needles is the latest work in Chinneck's surreal career
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Chinneck worked hard to ensure the project didn't overpower the area

Chinneck worked hard to ensure the project didn't overpower the area

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Dom Carter
Dom Carter is Creative Bloq's staff writer, news finder, and all round design fan. You'll usually find him drooling over screen prints and coveting more notebooks than is practical.